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Corporate Card Management: Guide for 2024

Vlad Falin

October 5, 2022

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The realities of the modern business world require companies to keep a tight hold on their spend management.

We’re not just talking about how you track expenses or reconcile your debts; that’s basic stuff. No, we’re talking about the entire process, from deciding who has the spend rights to analyzing how business spending affects your cash flow and taxes.

The more your business expands, the more crucial (and complex) your expense management process becomes. Spending analysis allows you to correct imbalances, watch for fraud and employee theft, and prepare for regulatory filings.

However, it’s also a cumbersome, time-consuming process that, without the use of the proper platform, requires quite a bit of man-hours to complete.

Modern spend and card management needs to be more sophisticated, intuitive, and built on the needs of finance teams, accountants, CFOs, owners, and employees!

That’s why, at Pluto, we firmly believe in the power of proper corporate card management. Establishing clear policies, outlining appropriate spending limits, and designing airtight analysis protocols can keep your finances in check.

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Modern Corporate Credit Card Programs

Traditionally, businesses relied on employee reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses to facilitate team and department spending. While using employees to frontload business costs helps with float, it also creates potential hardships and liabilities.

Moreover, the process of submitting, reimbursing, and properly cataloging expenses is grotesquely time-consuming for your finance team.

In part, corporate credit cards were designed to take the pressure off corporate finance teams. They make expense management easier, simplify spending procedures, and digitize the bulk of your spending.

Managing corporate credit cards can get quite complex. Adding new cardholders, suspending or closing accounts, or untangling business and personal expenses could take hours of paperwork and phone calls.

But it does not have to be like that. At Pluto, we leveraged our corporate experience, had countless talks with our users, and came up with solutions to every bottleneck of card management.

On-demand corporate cards

For employees to be able to make business expenses, they will need a corporate p card. In our day and age, most of their spending will be online.

Pluto provides you with an unlimited number of virtual cards that can be easily issued right from the dashboard.

If a physical card is needed, you will go through the same simple process, and the card will be delivered to you in just a couple of days.

Receipt Capture and Expense Tracking

Corporate credit cards feed your business expenses into a centralized monthly report. With Pluto, submitting a receipt is as easy as taking a picture with your phone, literally.

When the expense is submitted, it is immediately reflected in the account report.

These reports provide each department head and finance team with the visibility needed to:

  • Link credit card transactions to the right employee
  • Crackdown on overspending
  • Maintain business-wide cashflows
  • Maximize efficiency

With Pluto, you can easily filter through various expenses, check which expenses are still pending, and see the details of that particular spending team-wide.

Increased Flexibility

Corporate cards also provide businesses with the flexibility to take the approach that suits their needs. For instance, your business may assign corporate cards only to key employees and management or traveling employees.

Workers who make only occasional purchases can use Pluto virtual or pre-loaded cards with one-time or limited spend codes.

Ultimately: More Control

Aside from these perks, company credit cards allow you to maximize your data collection and improve your analytics.

You can use this information to curb unnecessary spending, generate insights, and even negotiate better rates with vendors.

But without a proper corporate card management program in place, it’s all too easy for the system to turn upside-down.

What is Corporate Card Management, and Why is it Important?

A corporate card management platform allows business leaders to proactively wrangle company expenditure concerns from multiple fronts.

But to keep everything running smoothly, you also need a well-designed corporate card policy that ensures you are not limiting employees in their work while you are tracking the expenses.

Using corporate cards for operational expenses allows your team to work more efficiently—no more complicated approval processes when buying an online subscription or plane tickets.

But to achieve the balance between flexibility and control, you must have a corporate card management policy. Good corporate card programs:

  • Outline rules for use, such as where and how much employees may spend.
  • Capitalize on issuer-provided controls to set spending limits.
  • Monitor and analyze employee cash flow to minimize inefficiencies.
  • Are quick to catch or counteract employee or outside fraud.
  • Simplify real-time expense reporting.
  • Save time and money by reducing or eliminating physical paperwork.

Above all, a responsible management program frees up resources, putting money back on your balance sheet.

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Best Practices for Efficient Corporate Credit Card Management

The key to managing corporate cards successfully is setting expectations, communicating responsibilities, and setting controls for employee and employer accountability.

Whether you set card limits, lock and unlock cards, issue virtual cards, or code and track expenditures daily is up to you.

Just as long as you design a system that balances control and comfort.

Set Up a Corporate Card Policy

Your company policy should:

  • Set expectations and communicate cardholder responsibilities
  • Lay out eligibility requirements to receive a card
  • Set spend limits for teams, departments, or specific expenditures
  • Outline the process for submitting receipts
  • Establish clear review and penalty processes for violating these rules

Written properly, your policy should ensure everyone understands their rights and responsibilities. 

Decide Which Employees Will Get Cards

One of the most important components of managing your corporate cards is deciding who receives them.

At first, you may want to stick with assigning cards to upper-level management or department heads. But as your business grows, you may enact policies to permit other employees to receive cards conditionally or permanently, such as your sales team.

Ensuring your cards are in the right hands for the right reasons gives your employees a sense of flexibility and responsibility.

Consider Virtual Cards

You might consider issuing virtual cards when an employee may need one-time or limited access to a corporate card.

With Pluto, you can issue unlimited virtual cards in a matter of minutes and set spending limits as needed.

So the time from the employee request to delivering the virtual card credentials is minimal.

Set Budgets for Each Team and Department

Clear budgets take the guesswork out of reconciling your expenses and provide a “pool” of funds for teams to pull from.

These controls can help curb spending while still providing the funds your business needs to succeed.

Separate Personal and Corporate Expenses

When you design your budgets, it’s crucial to ensure employees know what constitutes a business expense and what doesn’t.

For instance, some companies provide generous food allotments for traveling employees, while others limit corporate card spending to hotel and transportation expenses. In this instance, employees purchasing their own meals would qualify as a personal expense.

You also want to clarify that employees can’t use their company cards for personal expenses that don’t relate to business. Even if they plan to repay you, it must be clear that the corporate card can not be used for these matters.

Have Limits on Cards and Spending Categories

Another way to crack down on corporate card expenses is by setting limits. With Pluto you can set limits when creating a new card, or adjust the limits on the go. 

Review these limits regularly to make sure that everyone has limits that are sufficient to support them in their work. 

Make Expense Reporting Simple

The card expense reporting process shouldn’t take you hours. Submitting an expense in Pluto is a matter of just a couple of clicks.

Pluto card expense submission

Drag and drop the receipt into Pluto, add a couple of details and that is it. This efficiency ensures that employees submit all their expenses on time. 

Document Every Purchase – Digitize Receipt Management

When it comes to your expense policy, your corporate credit card statement isn’t reliable enough.

Mandating receipt uploads means that you can verify the accuracy of each transaction for internal and tax-related purposes.

But in the modern world, many vendors are moving away from physical receipts that tear, smudge, or blow away in the wind.

For these instances, consider setting up a corporate email address to provide all-digital vendors.

And for expenses that do generate physical receipts - Pluto allows you to simply take a picture of the receipt with your phone and upload it to the expense management system!

Monitor Employee Spending Habits

One enormous benefit of corporate cards is the sheer transparency involved.

Every transaction is recorded and automatically categorized, allowing you to monitor corporate card expenses using credit card statements. You can also use this information to identify overindulgent employees and limit any unscrupulous spending habits.

But don’t just wait for the statements to show up monthly. Pluto allows you to proactively set alerts, notifications, and monitor transaction activity, helping you catch problems before they snowball, such as “double-dipping.” (Submitting the same expense twice, by mistake or intent.)

Analyze Expense Reports Regularly

Another facet of corporate card expense reporting is regularly analyzing your reports.

With Pluto, businesses can sort expenditures by vendor, department, employee, or internal expense codes.

Sorting and analyzing your expense reports ensures that even if you have dozens of cards floating around, you can readily monitor and manage the ins and outs.

Integrate with Your Accounting Software

The best way to unlock your corporate cards’ potential is by integrating expense software with your accounting software.

Doing so feeds each corporate credit card expense right into your accounting log, saving hundreds of hours entering, verifying, and double-checking that your corporate card statements match actual business expenses.

Pluto allows you to integrate with all major accounting software.

Key Takeaways

  • Efficient corporate card management requires you to use a platform that will allow you to have complete spend control and flexibility.
  • This is where Pluto comes in – our platform provides you with all the features and tools necessary to fully manage your corporate card spending.
  • A corporate card usage policy is another critical element to keeping spending under control – by setting clear guidelines on what can and cannot be purchased with corporate cards, you can avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Finally, effective communication and training for employees will ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to using corporate cards responsibly.

 

Corporate Cards FAQs 

What is a Corporate Card Program?

A corporate card program issues cards to – and establishes rules for – employees who make purchases for a business.

These purchases can range from buying office supplies to airline tickets. Corporate card programs set guidelines for who can use a card, their spend allowance, and the expense reporting process, among other facets.

What is the Advantage of a Corporate Card?

Corporate credit cards offer multiple advantages, including:

  • Eliminating cumbersome reimbursement programs
  • Centralizing your expense management system
  • Integrating expense tracking features to simplify taxes
  • Restricting employee spend based on spend limits, vendors, or products
  • Reducing potential delays in the reconciliation process

Plus, many corporate cards connect to accounting software to allow businesses to slash time and hours wasted on expense report management.

What is Corporate Card Expense Management?

Expense management refers to the systems that organizations use to track, review, and pay for business and employee expenses.

Keeping expense management processes tightly controlled ensures that businesses can reconcile their balance sheets.

These expenses include any purchases an employee makes to improve the business, from office supplies to business travel costs.

Often, modern expense reports reflect tons of digital items too, like subscriptions and cloud space.

What is Corporate Card Reconciliation?

The corporate card reconciliation process verifies that corporate card statements match a company’s general ledger.

Businesses rely on these processes to validate transactions, keep expenses reasonable, and prevent fraud. (Not to mention, reconciling the books is essential - come tax time.)

With reports that Pluto generates, the work is minimal. You issue corporate cards, put limits on them, and all the receipts and transactions are stored in the Reimbursement report.

Who is Responsible for a Company Credit Card?

From a legal and liability standpoint, employers and businesses are responsible for all expenses charged to a corporate credit card.

That said, businesses may outline use cases in which an employee is responsible for repaying their own charges, such as when they make personal purchases on their employer’s dime.

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At Pluto Card, our mission is to assist businesses of all scales make well-informed choices. To uphold our standards, we follow editorial guidelines to guarantee that our content consistently aligns with our high-quality benchmarks.

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Spend Management
November 15, 2022

Vlad Falin

The Complete Travel and Expense (T&E) Management Guide

Travel and expense management is crucial for ensuring that business-related travel expenses are kept in check. However the accurate collection and reporting of all travel-related expenses pose a significant challenge.

As the person in charge of managing your organization's finances, you should be obsessed with making all expense management as efficient as possible in order to save money.

But how can you simplify the travel and expense management process when there are so many moving parts and people involved? By using the right tools for the job.

In this guide, you’ll learn the importance of having a good travel and expense management policy, how to make your T&E management more efficient, and what to look for in travel and expense management software.

What is travel and expense management?

Travel and Expense (T&E) management is the process companies follow to monitor and control business travel expenses. T&E management is vital as it affects the company's financial well-being directly by ensuring all travel-related expenses are tracked for tax deduction purposes.

T&E management involves tracking and controlling expenditures such as flights, accommodation, meals, and client entertainment. Effective T&E management ensures that these costs are necessary, reasonable, and aligned with the organization's policies and goals. This management is particularly vital as travel and entertainment expenses can quickly accumulate and become significant financial commitments for businesses.

Why is travel and expense management important?

As a finance professional, you know that cost management and expense reduction are crucial aspects of financial management work. One of the ways you can do this is by tracking all deductible expenses for tax reduction purposes.

And when it comes to the hierarchy of expenses you need to keep track of, those related to corporate travel and entertainment are of particular importance.

According to Mastercard, corporate travel and entertainment expenses have become the second-highest expense category.

But not only does T&E account for a large portion of the business expenses that companies have to deal with, but it’s also been identified as the second most difficult operating cost to control.

That’s why it’s so important that your organization develops and maintains effective T&E management policies, and uses the tools available to simplify T&E management.

The challenges of travel and expense management

Managing travel and expense (T&E) can be a complex task, often fraught with a range of challenges. These challenges can significantly hinder the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization's T&E process. Key challenges include:

1. Limited Fund Access: Employees often face constraints in accessing funds for travel-related expenses, which can lead to delays and complications.

2. Security Risks: The management of expenses, especially in a digital format, raises concerns regarding data security and the risk of financial fraud.

3. Outdated Policies: An organization's T&E policies may become obsolete or fail to align with current business needs and practices, leading to inefficiencies and policy breaches.

4. Lost Reports: Misplaced or lost expense reports can disrupt the reimbursement process, leading to employee dissatisfaction and administrative headaches.

5. Inefficient Bookkeeping: Manual and outdated bookkeeping methods can result in errors and inefficiencies, making it difficult to track and manage expenses accurately.

6. Lack of Spending Visibility: Without clear visibility into T&E spending, organizations struggle to control costs and make informed budgetary decisions.

7. Slow Reimbursement Process: Delays in processing reimbursements can demotivate employees and hinder efficient financial management.

How to make travel and expense management process efficient

1. Review your travel expenses and reimbursements

One of the first things you should do is take a look at your current travel expenses to see if there are any changes to be made.

Business travelers will always need to take trips, but perhaps there are some interactions that could be handled via videoconferencing.

You can also look for ways to minimize the expenses that need to be reimbursed. For instance, by using Pluto corporate cards, you could help eliminate, or at least reduce, the need to reimburse food expenses while giving you better control over them.

2. Examine your travel policy and keep it simple

If you are having trouble with your T&E management, you should take a look at your current travel policies (and if you don’t have one already, you should make that your top priority).

Your T&E policies need to strike a balance between flexibility and strictness. Too flexible and you create waste; too rigid and you limit the ability for people to do their jobs.

A good T&E policy should include the following:

  • How travel will be booked
  • The process to follow for reimbursement (including what type of supporting documentation is necessary, due dates, and other stipulations).
  • Any budget or spending limits, including the specific transportation methods or hotels that can be used.
  • Meal allowances.

And you want to keep your policy simple and easy to read. Minimize the jargon, use short paragraphs, and a simple format with bullet points, tables, and clear headings.

You should continuously review your expense policy, particularly as your business expands, to ensure that it’s aligned with any changes in your organization. 

3. Go paperless

Your team should be able to access your expense policy from anywhere and at any time. But more than that, you should aim to digitize the expense report process as much as possible.

For instance, implement the ability to submit digital expense reports and capture receipts digitally. Not only will this allow you to get a clearer view of your operations at all times, but it will help simplify your bookkeeping and easily manage receipts.

Pluto has this function! 

Digitize travel and expense management

4. Use travel expense management software

Through effective use of travel and expense management systems, you can consolidate the different scaffolds in your expense process, automate them, and eliminate time-consuming approvals while minimizing, or outright eliminating, human error.

Using Pluto allows you to cut a lot of the fat out of the reimbursement process. Automate reports, data gathering, and approvals for expenses that meet your policies, leaving only those that don’t meet your policies for manual approval. 

Furthermore, it can help you detect fraud by auditing your reports for duplicate expenses and any other anomalies.

And through software integration, you can use these different tools to create a unified T&E management process. 

5.  Top solutions for travel and expense management

There are many tools you can use to make your T&E management more efficient, for instance:

  • Pluto Card allows you to issue unlimited virtual cards, create travel specific card limits  monitor spending in real-time and most importantly, it allows your employees to reimburse quickly!
  • A travel expense tracker can provide you with automated expense reporting and expense tracking.
  • You can use a travel management platform that allows your employees to book flights, trains, and hotels and even rent cars from one place.
  • Pluto mobile app makes the expense reporting process much simpler for your employees.
  • You could take data from Pluto and travel management system directly into your accounting platform to further automate and simplify the T&E management process.

Expense management software for T&E management

One of the best ways to simplify your travel and expense management is by making use of the right T&E management software. However, with the increasing amount of options available, knowing which one fits your company best can be difficult.

Since no two businesses are exactly the same, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. Having said that, you’ll have an easier time choosing between the different options by focusing on the specific features that you need, or at least should consider, in a T&E management platform.

Key features to look for in a travel and expense management software

1. Virtual cards

Pluto gives you the ability to create virtual cards for online purchases. These cards can be generated as single-use or recurring, giving you complete control in terms of how you set up your spending limits.

Virtual cards offer you similar benefits to corporate cards, in the sense that you get full visibility of your expenses and your employees don’t have to pay upfront, but they have the added benefit of being more customizable.

2. Flexible spending limits

Our expense management software can also give you a lot of control and flexibility over the spending limits that you set. Pluto allows you to set specific spending-limits for vendor and change them in real-time online. 

This allows you to track expenses for specific countries or cities, while removing the need to manually configure spending limits each time someone makes a trip request.

3. Expense reports and analytics

If you want to make your expense management more efficient, you’ll need accurate data and insights into the spending habits of your employees.

Pluto gives you real-time reporting and analytics, to give your finance teams an easier time combing through all the expense data. For instance, a system with robust reporting capabilities should:

  • Categorize expenses and organize reports by expense type
  • Reconcile your reports
  • Give you spending insights across all your departments
  • Keep track of violations of your expense policies
  • Provide you with real time spend visibility

By getting a clear picture of your expenses, you’ll have an easier time ensuring policy compliance, preventing fraud, and reducing travel costs.

4. No FX fees and multi-currency functionality

If your employees travel internationally frequently, you’ll want a product that comes with a card that doesn’t have additional fees or surcharges for international purchases.

At Pluto we have 0 FX fees. Furthermore, you’ll have an easier time managing these expenses due to multi-currency functionality automatically converting all transaction information to your country’s currency.

5. Mobile functionality

If you are trying to simplify your expense reporting process for travel expenses, then you need a way to work on those expenses on the go. Pluto’s mobile app would allow your employees to report their expenses right away from any location, while also giving them the ability to submit receipts digitally.

6. Integrated card management

If you opt for a software provider that also offers corporate credit card services, you’ll be able to automatically reconcile expense report entries with your card statements, detect any expense bottlenecks, and generally reduce the chances of fraud or misuse. 

Pluto card management software will also give you more control over your corporate spending. Plus, you’ll be able to set and control your spending limits with much more ease.

7. Compatibility with other tools

When it comes to the use of technology in expense management, the more, the merrier.

Pluto can be integrated with your accounting software so that it can automatically populate expense reports and simplify your reimbursement through the use of your organization's accounting data.

Furthermore, by integrating your TEM system with your travel management system you can instantly take the travel booking information and add it to your expense reports.

8. Automated workflows, expense categorization, and tax calculation

The entire point of using travel expense management software is to automate as many processes as possible.

This includes the ability to customize your travel policies and approval workflows, categorize expenses for more straightforward tax calculation, and determine whether they are tax deductible or not.

Furthermore, by categorizing your expenses, you’ll have an easier time complying with the tax regulations of your country.

9. Scalability

One feature that is sometimes overlooked in software platforms is the ability to scale your operations as your company grows. You don’t want to choose a system now only to realize it no longer meets your needs further down the line.

In this regard, Pluto is a great pick as we have the backend to support any business sidez from small teams to enterprise level accounts. 

Key takeaways

Effective expense management is all about visibility, flexibility, control, and automation. The most common pain points from T&E management come from outdated policies and manual inputs, which you should seek to update and simplify via means of a robust expense management platform.

When it comes to making your travel and expense management more efficient, the key things to remember are:

  • Review and update your policy continuously to ensure it meets the needs of your business and employees.
  • Examine your current expenses to look for opportunities to reduce reimbursements and consolidate expenses.
  • Use Pluto to automate approval workflows and simplify the expense reporting process.
  • Pluto also offers strong reporting capabilities, gives you a lot of flexibility for spending limits, and can be integrated with other tools for maximum effectiveness.

5
All
Procurement
November 15, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Top 7 Accounts Payable Software in 2024

Processing bills is the most difficult part of procurement. 

Bill payments are often mistakenly duplicated, goods aren’t received as per purchase orders, or there are delays in the approval workflow. 

An accounts payable software makes the process hassle-free by automating approvals and payments and giving more visibility and control over your accounts payable (AP). It also enhances reconciliation and improves vendor relationships. 

While the core job to be done by an AP manager is to ensure good vendor relationships, manage between timely payments & cash flow, ensure compliance in payments, what you need is a solution that supports your organization’s finances in one place and ends the chaotic back and forth. 

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What is Accounts payable software?

Accounts payable (AP) software is a tool that helps businesses automate invoice and vendor payments via a centralized platform. An accounts payable automation software brings together all the key information into a single source of truth and enables teams to do the following:

  • Tracks bills and their statuses to avoid double payments
  • Enables two-way and three-way goods received note (GRN) & PO matching 
  • Supports customizable approval workflows for complete visibility
  • Supports local and international payments via various payment methods

Thus, AP software simplifies the payment processes and reduces unnecessary friction between finance, procurement & other teams. 

Top 7 accounts payable software in 2024

Here are the top 7 AP platforms for businesses. 

Based on your company size and needs, you can pick one of these to support your accounts payable.

1. Pluto

Accounts payable software by Pluto

Pluto is an accounts payable software that transforms your AP processes by simplifying bill processing. From enabling GRN matching to setting fully customizable multi-layer approval workflows, it is the best accounts payable solution to manage your vendor payments and relationships. 

Key features:

  • Facilitates three-way GRN matching with purchase orders and item-based matching
  • Consolidates approved invoices in a single window to highlight pending bills and avoid delays
  • Offers a flexible approval engine capable of managing intricate hierarchies without requiring technical expertise
  • Enables multi-layer invoice approvals with policies to align with your company's structure
  • Ability to upload invoices easily via WhatsApp images and emails directly to speed up the receipt capture process
  • A centralized dashboard to gather bills in one place and track the status to avoid double payments
  • Vendor-specific corporate cards to control budgets and detect irrelevant expenses
  • Enables creation of a preferred vendors list for quick payments 
  • Supports local and international wire transfers to make payments 
  • OCR technology minimizes manual data entry by creating and populating bills from invoices
  • Supports ERP integration to synchronize your vendors, POs, and bills and integrates with accounting software such as Oracle, NetSuite, Zoho, Quickbooks, Wafeq, Xero, etc.
  • Raises alerts for upcoming payments, enables scheduling payments in advance and automates invoices 
  • Provides a complete audit trail of the process to ensure visibility at each step
  • Shows real-time analytics to facilitate deep insights for supporting budget control

Pricing:

Request the sales team for a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Enables branch- and subsidiary-level spend tracking (not offered by other platforms)
  • Offers up to 2% cashback on all non-AED transactions 
  • Independent PCI DSS Level 1 certification
  • SSO/SAML Capabilities for Enterprises
  • Integrates with Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics
  • Better Forex rates than most local banks 
  • Multiple integration options

Cons:

  • Integrates with all other major ERPs except Tally
  • Slightly longer on-boarding due to corporate card offering 

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2. Tipalti

Accounts payable solution by Tipalti

Tipalti is an automation tool that supports end-to-end AP processes. It helps you streamline accounts payables and make global payments in local currencies for various recipients, from suppliers to freelancers. The cloud-based platform helps finance teams manage payments without losing visibility and control. 

Key features:

  • Supports supplier onboarding and vetting to ensure supplier reliability and trustworthiness
  • Integrates with ERP and accounting systems to help with reconciliation reporting
  • Uses OCR to scan, capture, match, and process invoice data to reduce manual errors
  • Provides built-in approval workflows and payment scheduling 
  • Offers invoice processing, including two-way and three-way PO matching and approval to avoid overpayments
  • Assists AP processes for subsidiaries and entities

Pricing:

Starts at $129 per month per user for the platform fee and charges for additional features separately.

Pros:

  • Can manage supplier bank account details in a secure environment

Cons:

  • Cannot use it for prepayment invoices on inventory purchases with the ERP system
  • High foreign currency exchange fees
  • Tax forms can be difficult to fill out and very difficult if you do not speak English

3. Airbase

AP solution by Airbase

Airbase is an automation solution for managing global AP processes. It focuses on ensuring compliance and syncing with your accounting tool to streamline the payment process. 

Key features: 

  • Offers OCR to populate details, including general ledger (GL) category, date, amount, and purpose
  • Supports onboarding with a self-service vendor portal and custom questionnaires
  • Has a centralized dashboard with all key information about the invoice to avoid friction 
  • Accepts invoices from email or vendor portal across all subsidiaries
  • Offers automated approval workflows based on multiple parameters, such as vendor, amount, GL category, etc.
  • Enables three-way invoice matching to ensure compliance and reduce wasted spend
  • Facilitates payments and approvals, including multi-subsidiary support, international currency, and real-time GL sync
  • Real-time audit trail with receipts, notes, and documentation for transparency

Pricing: Request a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Intuitive and easy to use; no training or previous knowledge required
  • Seamless approval workflows

Cons:

  • The mobile app is slow and takes time to load pages 
  • SSO-based login is not smooth
  • Not suitable for complex branch-level approvals and expenses

4. Ramp

Ramp's Accounts payable platform

Ramp is an accounts payable solution designed to manage payments and business expenses. It automates bill entries, approvals, and payments while offering complete visibility and control. By tracking each AP step from data recording to approvals, it simplifies payment processing and takes the burden off teams. 

Key features:

  • Uses AI to automatically extract key details from invoices to offer accuracy and eliminate data-entry errors
  • Identifies duplicate invoices and helps with two-way matching to purchase orders
  • Offers custom approval workflows to minimize errors and ensure timely payments 
  • Provides a unified dashboard with visibility into the status of invoices
  • Consolidates multiple payment options, such as check, card, same-day ACH, or international wire
  • Integrates with accounting solutions, such as QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle NetSuite, Sage, etc. for auto-sync bill pay transactions
  • Supports international payment processing in multiple currencies 
  • Tracks vendor data and transactions for easy reporting and data-driven decisions

Pricing:

Three pricing packages—free or basic features, $15 per user per month for Ramp Plus, and custom quote for enterprises with features like enterprise ERP integration, custom implementation, and local card issuance. 

Pros:

  • Works with multiple subsidiaries
  • Offers cash back on credit card purchases made using VISA cards

Cons:

  • Can’t unmatch an incorrectly matched invoice (invoice to credit card)
  • Approval routing can only be set on the vendor level, not department level
  • Limitations in syncing repayments

5. Bill

Accounts payable software by Bill

Bill is a spend management solution for SMBs to control payables, receivables, expenses, and all corporate expenses. It allows businesses to streamline scattered AP processes into a single platform and gain more control over their finances. 

Key features:

  • Enables tailored approval processes to facilitate approvals with minimal hassle
  • Automates purchase order workflows with the option for automated two-way and three-way matching
  • Simplifies expense reconciliation through quick coding and integration with accounting systems
  • Automates receipt matching, categorization, and expense reporting, decreasing administrative tasks
  • Syncs with all major accounting systems like QuickBooks, Sage, Intacct, and NetSuite
  • OCR auto-populates invoices for data entry
  • Provides bulk payments of approved invoices with payment choices, such as ACH, credit cards, checks, and international wire transfers
  • Offers audit trail of any changes or actions related to the invoice on a single page

Pricing: Provides a free trial and essentials pack starting at $45 for six standard user roles. Its team and corporate pack are for $55 and $79, respectively. Enterprises need to request a custom quote.

Pros:

  • One-click swift payments
  • Minimum training required
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons:

  • Customer support is difficult to initiate, slow, and unresponsive
  • Frequent changes in the interface create confusion for users
  • Limited customization options for reporting 

6. Melio

AP Software by Melio

Melio is a bill payment tool that enables businesses to pay via bank transfer and debit cards. Even when the vendor accepts only checks, it pays checks on your behalf to facilitate bill processing. It processes payments and issues checks without the payee having to use the platform. It is a tool suitable for small businesses to process payments without hassle. 

Key features:

  • Enables payments via credit card even when the vendor doesn’t accept the card to support deferred payments
  • Allows inviting additional users (such as accountants) to set up roles and permissions and manage approvals easily
  • Supports two-way sync with QuickBooks and Xero
  • Facilitates bulk payments and split payments (splitting bills into multiple payments) 
  • Offers international payments across the border 
  • Raises duplicate payment alerts to assist in fraud detection

Pricing:

Free to process ACH payments to vendors; charges a fee for other payment modes (check Melio pricing)

Pros:

  • Offers a free-to-use payment module (only with QuickBook)

Cons:

  • Lack of integration with accounting software
  • Turnaround time on a check is three business days 
  • Support is very limited
  • Limits payments to two checks per month 

7. Spendesk

Spendesk: Accounts payable platform

Spendesk automates the AP process by bringing together purchase orders and invoices to facilitate budgets, payments, and approvals. It creates a single source of truth to cut hours of manual work and detect errors better. It is a cloud-based software that improves budget control and financial reporting. 

Key features:

  • Offers a centralized platform for tracking payments right from the purchase order stage 
  • Supports invoice capture via email and image/file upload
  • Uses OCR to extract key information from the invoice, such as supplier name, amount, dates, and purchase details
  • Enables budget changes in real time without a manual data-entry system
  • Allows scheduling of payments and matching of purchase orders with the invoice for effective GRN matching
  • Provides customizable and built-in approval workflows and controls to monitor spending 
  • Raises alerts for duplicate invoices to enable teams to avoid overpayments and defect frauds

Pricing:

Request a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Super convenient for ad-hoc expenses 
  • Intuitive and interactive interface
  • Easy manual upload in case OCR doesn’t support receipt capture  

Cons: 

  • Glitchy virtual card payments with delayed notifications and declined transactions
  • OCR-based receipt capture only works for emails
  • Basic features like memorizing accounting patterns for vendors are only available in the paid module

What are the benefits of accounts payable software?

Adopting AP software helps you in the following ways: 

  • Gives real-time visibility into the status of invoices and payments
  • Provides insights into spending patterns, vendor performance, etc.
  • Streamlines payment and approval workflows, leading to smoother payment processes and vendor relationships

How to choose a good accounts payable Software

Ease of use

The AP software must be flexible to accommodate complex hierarchies without making it difficult to follow the workflows. It should offer trigger-based workflows and a clean user interface. Your team shouldn’t struggle to learn how to use the product and rely on the support team to get basic invoices cleared. 

Multiple payment options

From local transactions to international wire transfers and other digital payment options, AP software must support multiple payment options. It becomes easier with vendor-specific cards that make payments safe and fast. Pluto helps you set up vendor-specific cards, even for public relations officers. This is something most platforms on the market do not support.

Accurate data capture

AP software with OCR capabilities makes invoice processing faster and reduces errors. The ability to process invoices from different platforms and sources, such as emails, Slack, and WhatsApp, is required. Moreover, moving these captured invoices into the centralized database and syncing with accounting software eliminates the manual data entry task.

Approval workflow

Approval workflows are key for timely and accurate payments. An AP software must have a simple no-code workflow builder, even for complex hierarchies. This is especially useful for large organizations where this process can be intricate and long. 

Integration

Vendor payments need to be recorded across accounting systems for effective reconciliation. The AP software must integrate with your accounting systems and platforms to automate data entry and facilitate a synchronized record-keeping system.

Centralized dashboard

The AP software should offer a dedicated dashboard with all the key information such as vendor, invoice number, status, description, etc. Also, it must give a separate centralized view for expense tracking. This gives you visibility into where you spend the most and helps you optimize resource allocation. 

Supports GRN matching

The AP software interface must be designed in such a way that it supports GRN matching, both two-way and three-way matching. Be it in the form of OCR invoice capture or offering item-based matching capabilities. This will avoid any under- or over-payments and support a healthy vendor relationship. Also, this eliminates complications in the reconciliation process.   

Reporting 

Reporting capabilities of AP software help to identify the spending patterns and other key insights related to department-specific expenses, budgeting, etc. Hence, AP software must provide a dedicated reporting dashboard with the option to export the reports for enhanced analytics and reporting. 

Transforming Accounts Payable with the Right Software

Accounts payable is not just about clearing bills and vendor payments. It is the basis for vendor relationship management and proper order in financial processes. From getting approvals to matching GRN, you need software that offers ease of use with the right blend of functionality. 

Too complex of a product will leave your employees confused, leading to double work. Lack of customization will have teams work harder to adopt the product. Limited integration will have the accounting department working twice as much on data entry and syncing. 

Make the right decision and choose software that gives you control, customization, security and speed, all while embracing automation capabilities. 

Book a demo and discover how a simple automation tool transforms your AP process.

Disclaimer: The comparisons and rankings of accounts payable software competitors in this article are based primarily on reviews found online. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, these reviews are subjective and reflect the opinions of the users who posted them. The information presented is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as a definitive guide for choosing a software provider. We encourage readers to conduct their own research and consider their specific needs before making a decision.

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October 18, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Future of B2B Payments


‎Introduction

In this blog post, we will dive into a discussion between two individuals about the future of financial services and the opportunities and challenges in the SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) segment. The speakers discuss the impact of technology on businesses, the need for innovation in business payments, and the changing landscape of entrepreneurship. Let's explore the key themes discussed in this conversation.

The Impact of Technology on Businesses

The conversation begins by highlighting the significant focus on consumer-centric technology companies in recent years. Companies like Uber and Instacart have revolutionized the way individuals access services and products. However, the speakers note that there has been a lack of focus on technology solutions for businesses. This is starting to change, with a surge in B2B marketplaces and business planning tools emerging.

The Evolution of the SME Segment

The speakers acknowledge that the SME segment has traditionally been overlooked due to various obstacles and challenges. However, they discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation in businesses. They mention that 56% of SMEs have pivoted or shifted their business models towards digital channels. This shift has opened up new opportunities for technology companies to cater to the evolving needs of SMEs.

Pain Points in Business Payments

One of the pain points discussed is the inefficiency and frustration associated with business payments. The speakers highlight the challenges faced by businesses when making and receiving payments. They mention the difficulties of distributing petty cash to employees, the reliance on personal cards for business expenses, and the cumbersome process of entering vendor details in banking portals. These challenges result in cash leakages, accounting nightmares, and inefficiencies.

The Opportunity for Innovation in Business Payments

The speakers emphasize the need for innovation in business payments. They discuss the potential for technology solutions to address the pain points faced by businesses. By streamlining payment processes, reducing fraud, and improving efficiency, businesses can save time and money. The speakers believe that there is a significant opportunity to disrupt the traditional business payments landscape and provide better solutions for businesses of all sizes.

The Changing Landscape of Entrepreneurship

The conversation concludes with a discussion on the changing landscape of entrepreneurship. The speakers predict that businesses will continue to shrink in size as more functions become automated. However, they also anticipate the emergence of a new breed of entrepreneurs who will serve multiple businesses through their own ventures. This shift towards self-employment and the gig economy is expected to create new opportunities and challenges for both entrepreneurs and businesses.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the discussion highlights the need for technology solutions in the SME segment and the opportunities for innovation in business payments. The speakers emphasize the importance of addressing the pain points faced by businesses and predict a future where entrepreneurship takes on a new form. As the business landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial for businesses and entrepreneurs to adapt and leverage technology to stay competitive. If you're interested in learning more about the future of financial services and how technology can transform your business payments, we invite you to explore the solutions offered by Holly Wally, the world's first wallet-as-a-service platform. Visit Holly Wally's website to find out how they can help you build your mobile wallets, increase revenue, and reduce time to market. Remember, the future is full of opportunities, and embracing innovation is the key to success in the ever-changing business landscape.